Canadian Pacific Rail’s work stoppage impacts economy, calls for back-to-work legislation

CP Rail. Credit: Twitter handle of Canadian Pacific

Ottawa/CMEDIA: The ongoing stoppage of work since March 19, at the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway, has raised concerns about the potential economic impact amidst an already-strained supply chain and high inflation.

A new contract had been negotiated since Sep by both CP Rail and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, representing about 3,000 unionized locomotive engineers, conductors, train, and yard workers.

CP Rail’s previously tabled an offer to address 26 outstanding issues including wages, benefits, and pensions, which was rejected by Teamsters Canada, a Canadian Trade Union representing over 125,000 members in all industries.

After voting 97 percent in favor of a strike on March 3, unionized employees were in a legal strike position as of March 16.

CP Rail issued the same day a 72-hour notice to Teamsters Canada saying it would lock out employees if a negotiated settlement couldn’t be reached.

In the absence of any agreement, workers hit the picket lines across Western Canada, including Port Coquitlam, B.C., Calgary, and Regina.

Many Canadians including Industry organizations, chambers of commerce, farm groups business, and political leaders are worried about the delivery of goods in Canada amid recent natural disasters like heavy flooding in British Columbia, and war in Ukraine.

The federal government is being called by Canadian business and political leaders to pass legislation to force CP Rail’s unionized employees back to work.

Federal mediators have been involved in talks since March 11.

“Second day of a work stoppage but CP and Teamsters Rail remain at the table. We have faith in their ability to reach an agreement. Canadians expect them to do that ASAP. Here in Calgary until they do,” Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan said in a post on Monday on Twitter.

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